olly alkema skiing

North-east couloir, Pointe de la Terrasse

With the ski season not officially open until mid-December here in Chamonix, everything is a bit.... slow. The ski lifts are closed and the high street is empty. The sun manages to get above the high peaks for just a few hours each day. Most restaurants are ferme until the crowds arrive. But I like … Continue reading North-east couloir, Pointe de la Terrasse

les courtes north east

Les Courtes: North east face

Fergus and I headed into the Argentiere basin at a leisurely pace with no real plan and ended up on les Courtes' north east slope, an 800m long classic steep line that sits at just over 45°.   After a bit of faff on my part at the bottom (I let my ski slip down … Continue reading Les Courtes: North east face

grand envers vallee blanche

Powder is back on Aiguille du Midi

A quick lap of the most challenging of the variations of the Vallee Blanche, Chamonix - Grand Envers du Plan. Fresh 30cm of snow on the first two pitches. Summer in the valley.

Rifugio Elisabetta

Miage Glacier adventure

Björn, Martin and I drove through to Italy yesterday around midday. The idea was to go for a relaxed approach to Rifugio Elisabetta, stay overnight then aim for the much desired north east couloir (Bonatti) on Petite Mont Blanc the following morning. (Plan A) The Bonatti is a beautiful, 1000m long couloir on the Italian side … Continue reading Miage Glacier adventure

Small Adventure in the Massif – Pointe Yeld 3560m

Adam and I had the idea of skiing a y shaped couloir in-between the col superior de la noire and pointe yeld. On approaching the base of the line it was obvious that it wouldn't be skiable so we decided to go for a short wander up to pointe yeld to discover this new area … Continue reading Small Adventure in the Massif – Pointe Yeld 3560m

Mont Blanc via Gouter Route

Finally. Ever since I came to Chamonix in 2012 I've looked up at Mont Blanc every day and had various summit plans fail for different reasons; bad conditions, work commitments etc, but yesterday, finally, I stood on the summit of the White Mountain. We took the Gouter Route which takes 2 days to summit. The route … Continue reading Mont Blanc via Gouter Route